WAHPETON - Valley City hung three runs on the scoreboard in the first inning Wednesday at John Randall Field only to watch Beulah wipe the lead away with seven runs of its own in the bottom of the frame.
The following innings for Valley City were spent clawing back into the game. Eventually, Valley City reclaimed the lead, and later Beulah kept the see-saw match going by tying it up late.
Valley City answered with two runs in the top of the seventh to claim the 10-8 victory over Beulah during the opening round of the Class A American Legion baseball state tournament.
Nick Wagner/Fargo Forum
Beulah's Josh Remmick lays out to make a play on a line drive during the first round of the Class A American Legion baseball tournament on Wednesday at John Randall Field in Wahpeton.
"I'm proud of the guys," Valley City coach Kyle Roelfsema said. "We've been in some tough spots at different points of the season, but they came to this tournament and played their hearts out in the first game and that was nice to see."
Four of Beulah's seven runs in the first were unearned and after that Valley City starter Austin Berg settled down, pitching three scoreless innings before handing the ball off to reliever Chase Carpenter.
Valley City plays Watford City at 5 p.m. today in the winners' bracket. Beulah plays 2013 Class B champion Grafton at 11 a.m. in an elimination game.
Valley City pulled closer, scoring two runs in the fourth inning and Carpenter led off the fifth with a solo home run. The fifth inning yielded three runs and Valley City found itself up 8-7.
"We've struggled a bit this year, but we finally picked it up the last few weeks," Carpenter said. "We played a tight game with Wahpeton in which we were up 1-0 after the sixth inning, but ended up losing 2-1. That game gave us confidence that we can play with the teams that are at this tournament. It was a rough first inning, but we kept our heads up."
After Beulah tied it up in the sixth inning, Valley City third baseman Austin Meyer connected for a two-run single. This time the lead stuck.
Hayden Norton, Pat Becker and Landon Battest each had multi-hit games for Beulah.
"After we put the seven runs in the first inning we lost a little bit of our focus at the plate and that hurt us," Beulah coach Ryan Bodell said. "Credit Valley City. They hit the ball well and forced us to make the plays. All year we have been preaching to make the routine plays and we didn't make some of those in the game."